George Wallace: Inaugural Address as Governor

(1963)

About the Author

Born in Clio, Alabama, in 1919, Wallace got his first taste of politics as a legislative page in his teens, and he became enraptured. He matriculated at the University of Alabama Law School at age eighteen, graduating in 1942. Wallace then entered the U.S. Army Air Forces and served for three years during World War II. In a show of political ambition, he decided to remain an enlisted man rather than becoming an officer, reasoning that there were more enlisted men than officers in the voting pool, and so remaining an enlisted man would help his political aspirations. In 1946 he won election to the Alabama House of Representatives and, in 1953, was elected a circuit judge. Throughout this period he was known as a moderate on racial issues and, most famously, refused to walk out of the 1948 Democratic National Convention when a strong civil rights plank was added to the Democratic platform. In 1949 Wallace was appointed as a trustee of Tuskegee Institute—a...

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George Wallace (left) attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama (Library of Congress)

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